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Downward Dog – Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose

Downward Dog – Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose

Hey, Blue. What you got there? What you bringing
us? This is perfect for the yoga show. It says love.
Hello everyone. Welcome to Yoga with Adriene. I’m Adriene, and this is
Blue. Today we’re going to learn the famous downward-facing dog. It has a
ton of benefits, and you will encounter it in a public class. In general,
it’s just great to spend some time with this posture. Hop on the mat and
let’s learn downward-facing dog. We’re going to begin on all fours; surprise:
Wrists underneath the shoulders, knees directly underneath the hips.
If you have a moment, maybe a nice little warm-up of cat-cow would be
good here. There’s a video for that, and you can click in the box somewhere
around this area and watch how to do cat-cow. I’ve taken a couple cat-cows
to warm up but just for the spine. I’m actually going to prep my downward
dog with puppy posture. Get it? Puppy grows into a dog. Too many countless
hours doing kids’ yoga with children. For puppy posture, I’m going to actually drop
my elbows where my wrists are. Just in terms of alignment, that’s a
good little marker. I’m, of course, going to be mindful of my palms, maybe
playing a little piano, going all 10 fingerprints rooting; just sending
awareness from fingertips to toes, even as I prep. Then from here, I’m
going to create a long neck, and then keeping my elbows and all 10 fingerprints
where they are, I’m just going to simply walk my knees back, letting
the spine fall in line and the heart release towards the earth. Forehead
kisses the mat. My hips are still stacked above my knees, but I’m definitely
letting my pelvis rock up towards the sky. Prepping for downward dog
in Anahatasana, heart-to-earth pose. I can take a couple breaths, just letting
my heart sink to the ground. Sometimes it’s nice if you have tight shoulder,
which I feel like these days we all have tight shoulders. Facebook.
Just letting the shoulders relax away from the ears and taking some nice,
solid, smooth, deep breaths. After a little time in this puppy posture,
then we’ll begin to shift gears, growing into downward dog. I’ll inhale, keeping
my shoulders drawing away from the ears, look up gently, drawing a nice
sweet line with my nose, paying attention to the transition, prepping
my posture with grace and with control. I’m going to slowly walk my knees
forward just a little bit, curling my toes under. In my public classes,
I do not waste this moment. There’s this playful excitement, so rather
than just blasting into downward dog, I’m just taking the time to enjoy how
I get into it. Then one by one, I’ll lift an elbow, an elbow, a knee, a knee.
I’m engaging my core, and then as if someone’s pulling me up from my
tail, I’m going to take that same action that I did in puppy posture and
grow it into downward-facing dog, Adho Mukha; pedaling the feet. Couple of action points, here we go: Spreading
the palms nice and wide, especially the area between my index finger
and thumb. If you have weak wrists or if you’re feeling a little bit of
fussiness in the wrists, press into that area between the index finger and
thumb. Everyone, at first this will be difficult for you, but Hasta Bandha,
hand-to-earth; we have to press through all areas of the palm equally.
I’m going to grow that integrity all the way up to my shoulders.
I’m going to allow my shoulders to rotate away from the ears, and then gently
relax the head and neck, melting my heart towards my toes. I did not
fall in love with yoga until I fell in love with this posture. Believe me;
that took a little while. It took a little practice. My main loving tip for you is keep moving
in this posture. If you’re holding like this, cursing my name, making
a voodoo doll of Yoga with Adriene right now; there’s no point. We want
to pedal the feet. We want to keep moving. Keep the mind at ease. Full with
breath as I explore through this posture. If you’re holding static, you’re
probably going to give up and you’re probably never going to watch a
video again. You’re probably never going to practice yoga again. We have
to find ways to fall in love with the poses to find what feels good. My
tip for that is movement with your breath, pedaling the feet. If the heels
don’t touch the earth, who cares? Bend the knees generously. Get that
belly melting towards your thighs, opening the shoulders. Shoulders have
that sweet external rotation. The tops of the thighs have the opposite rotation;
they’re spiraling in and out towards the wall, or in my case, the door
behind me. Sometimes it’s nice to turn the two big toes
in just to feel that spiral, and then pedaling it back out, feet parallel.
Long side body, heart melting to the earth, relaxed in the head and neck,
tops of the shoulders drawing away from the ears, pressing into all areas
of the palm. In time, the heels with grow down towards the earth. Sometimes
we take our toes to our heels; just drawing them down, melting the heart,
one at a time. To come out of the pose, I inhale in and exhale;
often will shift. A little foreshadowing into another posture, or just
on an exhale, melting gently back to all fours, walking the palms underneath
the wrists, just finding a natural tabletop position. Then if you’re
a beginner, maybe bringing the two big toes together, widening the knees,
and melting it back into extended child’s pose, which we also have
a video for. Click for that somewhere over here. Then melting with a breath. Downward-facing dog; it’s actually . . . you’re
not going to believe this, a resting posture. When I tell my students
that in public class, usually there’s a big belly laugh. My main tip is
finding what feels good in downward-facing dog because it’s such a famous
pose. I don’t know if I’ve been to a Hatha Yoga class yet where we don’t
practice downward dog. Find what feels good. Keep moving. Don’t be static
and still. Save that exquisite stillness for Shavasana. That was the famous downward-facing dog. If
you’re a beginner, this is a great posture to go in with an open mind,
open heart. Just focus on finding what feels good rather than being stuck in
doing the posture perfectly. That goes for all of us; beginners and experienced
yogis. Please visit YogaWithAdriene.com to read more
about this posture. I’m going to talk about weight distribution a little
more in detail in the blog. Please check out the blog and give the pose
a try. Let me know how it goes. Thank you and Namaste.

100 thoughts on “Downward Dog – Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose

  1. what if I cant get my legs straight. I've got short ligaments so these kinda poses are really hard for me. how can I make it easier?

  2. Does anyone else get giddy when their body surprisingly relaxes into a pose??
    My heels touched the ground. Knock me over with a feather 😀 !!
    Best yet in realizing, I'm becoming better sensing where I'm at and letting go of resistance by extending my reach and being more persistent in practice, patience, and sincerely embracing self-loving gentle kindness.
    Today's one of those tiny heartfelt benchmarks that says, "See?!!!"
    Thank you Thank You Thank You Adriene

  3. Came here as you suggested and I tried but OW it was so much pressure to the heel of my hand. I think I am having trouble getting the hips back it really seems that I am in a tall table? I'm not sure how to get my back in line with my arms? Going to keep trying! I'm really enjoying yoga, or what I can do so far ha!

  4. It wasn't until just the other day that I understood to press the hand down between the forefinger and thumb… I'm hoping this will make it easier on my artist wrists 🌿💛

  5. hey, i'm really struggling with this one. Only pose in yoga that is very uncomfortable. any tips? or just practise it more?

  6. That's a lot of talking which was not at all amusing…instead of cracking those silly jokes you could have thrown in some motivational lines

  7. Hey Adriene, thanks so much for your committment to this channel. It's become a daily necessary part of my life! Quick question..I seem to now get tingling in my heels which can feel like pin pricks when I do this pose – have you come across this before perhaps?

  8. Sometimes I get some mad when i am doing this pose. It is never relaxing or a place of rest. I am doing it correctly according to this video and another I watched, so I guess I just have to build strength. It seems counter-intuitive to build strength in order to rest, but yoga doesn't always make sense to me and I know I am working through the emotions more than anything. I DO have a couple questions though: 1. Which direction should my elbows face? 2. How far should my hands be from my feet? 3. And how do I get my hands to stop sliding away? I've bought three different mats trying to find one that my hands will stick to but when I push through my fingers I have to keep walking my hands back in place because they slide away. Thanks and I will keep trying!

  9. Hey Adriene, when doing the puppy posture, do we press the elbows onto the mat? Because I naturally do that to prevent my face from smashing onto the mat. It would be great if you could explain more about the puppy posture. Thanks, you're awesome!

  10. I do not know if Adriene is still monitoring comments on this video (5 years after it was released) but, I might suggest she add those pop-up links at the beginning of her series (e.g. "True – 30 day Challenge") if for no other reason than to clue newbies like myself that the Foundations modules exist. [I did not find them until I completed my first 30 day challenge. These sure would have helped.] Thank you for filling an instructional need where no-one else has.

  11. Never seen a more relaxing yoga tutorial. Ever. And your style of narrating is slightly ticklish.

  12. Hi Aidriene. I really struggle getting my arms in line with the same elegance you have. my upper back seems to round and my head is above my sholders. I sould mention that I broke my right sholder a year ago which seperated the a c joint. Do you think this alinement will come in time? I'm loving Yoga but as a beginer I'm finding it extremely frustrating that my body wont do what I ask it. I think also as an endurance athelete my hamstring are realy tight which ad to the problem. Anyway great videos you make it look so easy.

  13. I can't the dowarddog leg lift.What is the problem for it usually?strength?Stability.I can't raise my legs,only a little.Please can you tell me?

  14. I recently started a new job, in which I am constantly using my arms and upper body. I knew my arms needed some additional love, but I didn't realize just how much until I did this video and my arms barely made it through. So not only did I get a good stretch, but it cued me in that I am not taking proper care of my upper body to counter the demands I'm placing on it. Ah, serendipity. 🙂

  15. You so silly, girl!! Right up my alley. I am a Movement instructor and play along with you on the reg! Just wanted to say hi fellow yogini! 😚

  16. It’s so true how grateful you feel when the instructor finally says to move into downward dog lol it really becomes a resting pose.

  17. Hi, great video! I was wondering if anyone here can explain how this pose lengthens/straightens the spine (whereas I feel like it compresses it?)

  18. Hi, I find it really hard, have very weak wrists so it makes it very difficult for me to relax also have so uncomfortable feeling in my shoulder, can you give any tips for those kind of problems. Love your videos by the way.

  19. Can I get some advice? I broke a metatarsal in my left foot some three years ago, and now I find that downward dog, plank and lunges all put a lot of strain on my foot. How can work around this?

  20. Yes! I looked for this and so glad you have a video. Little weird to see you from so long ago, but still radiant and awesome instruction. I hated downward dog when I first started Yoga. It hurt my wrists and I was doing it static so I would be cursing the instructor in my head trying not to scream. Your playful movement definitely gives it a new life and I even CRAVE downward dog sometimes. So thank you for opening my eyes to the possibilities. I'm definitely going to read the blog about the health benefits. I figure something that is done in every yoga class, sometimes multiple times, has got to be good for us!

  21. I've been having a time with downward dog since getting back into things, lots of tightness behind the knees but after watching your video I feel so much better with this pose, thank you!

  22. Just started looking into Yoga and thinking about practicing. This vid is so helpful alot of movements are mentioned but never really explained thank you.

  23. The twisting of the ankels are bad for knees and hips – she is demonstrating tis in a bad and harmful way.

  24. My running group actually cooled down by doing this pose tonight! I was stunned at first, but we did pedal our feet! 😣

    Now I know how.

  25. Oh wow! Awesome video. This pose has been my nemesis as a beginner and the tip on movement is a huge help! Thank you!

  26. This is pretty much the first yoga exercise i have ever done. By the 5 minute mark my arms were shaking, sweat dripping down and about to collapse. I knew i was out of shape but this bad? Damn.

  27. I also love the puppy pose, never thought I would be able to place my forehead on the floor, usually I place my chin on the mat and just go with it, thank you Adriene for this wonderful practice and couple of action points ☺️ Namaste 🙏🏻

  28. OMG!!!! I can’t thank you enough for this — This is exactly how I’ve felt comfortable in my downward dog, with all that movement. I’ve always thought I was doing something wrong “by professional yoga standards” even though it felt “right” to my body. Thank you for your reassurance and support!!

  29. Question: I always get a pinch on my right shoulder every time I do the poppy posture, somebody knows why or what should i do?

  30. Okay.. so I’m having trouble knowing what to do with my shoulder blades. Some people say to draw them down, which makes my shoulders hurt LIKE HELL, and some people say to sort of.. let them go out to the sides, while still activating the shoulders (not hanging in the shoulders, but pushing away, and still rotating outwards.. Just letting the shoulder blades come out to the sides…? That way feels better for my shoulders, but I still feel like it’s wrong..!

  31. Should our shoulder blades be coming together and going down, or can they be wide open but down (ie away from the ears)?

  32. What really screws me up in downward dog is my hands are always slipping away from me on the mat. I end up spending more time re-positioning my hands than anything else. Does anyone else have an issue with this?

  33. Cat-Cow Yoga Pose – Yoga With Adriene -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y39PrKY_4JM https://yogawithadriene.com/cat-cow-pose/

  34. Blue, oh? I am definitely learning new things about you. So this is not Benji young? I hope Blue was adopted by someone else or you changed the name to Benji. In either case, I am sure I will find out but when I saw a dog appear I had just mentioned Benji in the video prior and I was like, look at that there he is, then you threw me with saying Blue. This pose was great. Jai Namaste 🙏🏽

  35. 7:29 Young Adriene was exuberant, humorous and much more fun than older Adriene ❤️ I wonder what caused the change of character.

  36. I really used to hate this posture so much when I first started several months ago. My shoulders and wrists screamed everytime. But I fell in love with the transition of curling my toes under and lifting my hips up high. That's what did it. Steady practice made my shoulders and wrists stronger. I don't need a man to open a pickle jar for me anymore!

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